This guide gives you the most famous streets in London. From politics and music to the best shopping there is, these are London’s best streets.
London is filled with hundreds of famed and historical locations that are known worldwide, like Buckingham Palace, The House of Parliament and London Bridge.
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But did you know that the city has some of the most famous streets in the world?
You can learn more about London’s famous streets below.
A lot of these streets in London, you’ve probably heard of but never knew their historical and political significance or even where their names came from.
In this guide to famous London roads, I’ll tell you about 21 of the most famous streets London has to offer and what makes them so important to politics, music, history and even fashion.
If you’re looking for more tips and insights about the city, then read my London travel tips guide.
These celebrated streets show you the history of the city, both past to present day.
These are also roads that you have to explore when you are visiting the city, no matter what time of the year you’re here.
These famous London streets should be at the top of your ‘things to do in London’ bucket list.
Here are a few handy items you’ll need when wandering around the famous streets of London:
- A camera to capture the spots you’ll be visiting around London; all my photos are taken with my Fujifilm X-T 4.
- A GoPro HERO 9 for cinematic videos of your travels.
- Keep your devices juiced up by using this power bank. I use this one to charge my phone, GoPro and cameras while travelling.
- A backpack to carry your snacks and a bottle of water.
- A stylish pair of walking shoes to explore in comfort.
21 Famous London Street Names To Know
Now, without further adieu, here are the 21 most famous streets in the UK that you should visit on your next trip to The Big Smoke.
Baker Street is named after the builder William Baker, who designed the street in the 18th century.
Baker Street was made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional TV series “Sherlock Holmes”. Sherlock lived at 221B Baker Street in the TV show.
The address never existed, but you can visit a museum, a café and a hotel named after the hero.
If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, visit Baker’s Street when you’re in London. The street was once mostly residential but is now more of a commercial district.
READ MORE: Prettiest Mews Streets in London that you should visit
Downing Street is known the world over for its political significance. This is the street that houses the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The road has also housed the equivalent of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor for over 300 years. They are believed to be living at No. 10 and 11 respectively.
Downing Street is fast becoming a top London tourist attraction. The street is within walking distance of the House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
Bond Street – Best Street in London For Luxury Shopping
This famous road in London was built in the 1720s and became a sensation in the 18th century for socialisation. This is the place to go if you are planning on shopping as it’s lined with every high street shop imaginable, along with the luxury department store Selfridges.
I used to work in Selfridges as a weekend sales assistant when I was at University. I learnt a lot about the store, and I think they do the most creative window displays among the luxury department stores in the city. Yes, impressive window displays are a thang!
Bond Street is one of the main streets in London for shopping. It’s also one of the most expensive real estate areas in Europe, and it is greatly sought after.
In the city, Harley Street is known as the cosmetic street in London due to the street being lined with many medical practitioners and cosmetics practices.
It’s the place where you can go for a simple face peel to a whole new face. The street is named after Thomas Harley, who was the Lord Mayor of London in 1767.
Since then, the number of medical personnel on the street has grown tremendously.
It is rumoured that they are drawn to this street because of its spacious houses and proximity to some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in London.
So, if you need a little beauty treatment while visiting, then Harley Street is a street in London you’ll want to visit.
Piccadilly Street – Buzzing Famous Street, London
This is one of the busiest streets in London, as it’s home to Piccadilly Circus, which is basically the Times Square of London.
The street gets a lot of foot traffic every day, with selfie queens, black taxis, and buses moving through the street continuously.
The street is home to the Royal Academy of Arts, the Burlington Arcade, the Ritz Hotel and Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly Circus is the main feature of this street, and many tourists use the statue of Eros at the centre of Piccadilly Circus both as a meeting point and backdrop for holiday photos.
Oxford Street – The Most Famous Street in London For Shopping
This is one of the busiest streets in London because it’s the city’s largest shopping street.
The street is about a mile long and is home to every designer and high street shop you can imagine. The street sees approximately half a million tourists daily!
Oxford Street and Regent Street are considered the most famous streets in London for shopping.
This street has been referred to in several Charles Dickens novels, and the London College of Fashion also has a campus on Oxford Street.
If you like shopping in Oxford Street, then check out my guide on things to do in Soho.
Regent Street is named after George the Prince Regent. When you visit London, you’ll somehow find yourself on Regent Street, whether by choice or being dragged kicking and screaming by a fashion addict to pursue all the luxury and high street shops that line the curvaceous Regent Street.
Regent Street also hosts a lot of events, including the street festival and the London Pride Parade.
This is the street that began as a fashion street in the swinging 60s when John Stephen opened the first-ever ladies’ fashion boutique called Trecamp.
It has been leading the fashion pack in London ever since with its quirky brands, beauty bars, pubs, restaurants and even yoga studios.
Carnaby Street is not to be missed on your first visit to London.
Old Compton Street
Old Compton Street is a road that runs East-West through Soho in the West End of London. Old Compton Street was home to French Protestant refugees who were given asylum in England in 1681.
Today the street is lined with bars and restaurants and is a central focal point for London’s LGBTQ community.
During Pride Weekend in London, the street is closed and becomes a pedestrian-only zone. It’s also a great area to just hang out and grab drinks at the fabulous bars.
Shaftesbury Avenue is named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. It is one of the most well-known avenues in London because it is home to all the hottest theatres.
If you want to see any play or musical, then this is the place to go. There’s always something showing in the West End.
This street runs through Chelsea and Fulham in West London.
Are you wondering about this regal London street name? It comes as a result of what it was used for in the past, as a private road used by King Charles II.
Kings Road is one for the royal lovers and people watchers. You can spend a day on Kings Road seeing how the other half in London lives, and you will not be disappointed. This street is rumoured to be the most expensive street in the city.
Tip: Find out more about West London’s main streets in this guide on the best streets in Chelsea.
Kings Road is also great if you like luxury boutique stores as it offers a more upscale shopping experience in comparison to Oxford and Bond Street.
To find more wonderful shopping experiences, read this guide on the best and busiest high streets in London.
Portobello Road – The Most Popular Street in London For Market-Lovers
This street is home to the renowned Portobello Street Market, and it attracts tourists from all over the world.
The road passes through the heart of Notting Hill. Every weekend you can purchase second-hand antiques and clothes from the stalls that line the street.
The street is about 2 miles long, and the market takes up most of it. Portobello Street Market is a top tourist attraction in London, and you’ll certainly want to explore it. However, the street is not just home to the market but also artisan coffee shops, pubs and restaurants.
READ MORE: 5-day London itinerary
This London street owes its fame to the Beatles. The four-man band had inadvertently popularised the street when they took a picture walking the zebra crossing on the street for their Abbey Road album in an attempt to save cost.
Since then, fans of the band have flocked to Abbey Road to recreate the iconic photo on the zebra crossing.
The zebra crossing has since been given a special listing by the government because of its cultural and historical significance. This is an example of how music can significantly impact a place and people.
You’ll often find a fascinating story behind the street names in London. The Strand’s street name is from the old English word ‘strond’, which has been known to mean the edge of a river. This was a significant street centuries ago and dates back to Roman times.
The Strand is situated along the Thames River and was once the hub of Victorian nightlife. The Strand is now mainly occupied by office buildings and restaurants.
It is, however, still home to the Twinings Teashop, which had opened in 1906 and is the oldest business still operating in its original place in London.
Many philosophers and poets have lived on the Strand, some of which include Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and many more.
It’s also home to one of the most beautiful (and one of my favourite) places in London, the Somerset House.
This street got its name from the brick and tile manufacture, which started in the 15th century. It has been known to have the coolest vintage shops, street food and best curry houses in the city. Brick Lane is also where you’ll find some of London’s coolest street art.
Brick Lane is home to Dark Sugars, one of the best chocolate shops in London! If you want to know more about Brick Lane – check out my post on things to do in Brick Lane.
READ MORE: Brick Lane Market in East London
Columbia Road Flower Market
One of the most famous things about Columbia Road is the Sunday-only Columbia Road Flower Market.
Where people with the enviable green fingers and a love of flowers and plants congregate to buy as many flowers as a Londoner can carry on a bike or the underground to transform their flats into a little forest in the city.
At Columbia Road Flower Market, you’ll find second, third and sometimes even fourth-generation flower sellers.
Flowers have been sold at Columbia Road flower market for hundreds of years. The market and its surrounding areas are littered with artisan coffee shops, bakeries and a small thrift market.
It is also home to a pub which is called the Birdcage because once upon a time, birds were sold on Columbia Street too. Visiting Columbia Road is one of the many unique things to do in London.
London Royal Exchange, luxury shopping centre and Bank of England in the evening.
This street is famous because it is the site of the Bank of England, which is sometimes referred to as the old lady of Threadneedle Street.
It was also home to the London Stock exchange until it was relocated to Paternoster Square.
If you’re an architecture lover, definitely check out Threadneedle Street. You can get great shots of the city, especially at golden hour (you can also spot buildings like The Gherkin) from Threadneedle Street.
Charles II authorised Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans, to develop the area in 1664. He would have never thought that Jermyn Street would still hold a worldwide reputation as the home of London’s finest menswear and tailoring.
The tailors on Jermyn Street showcase the best of British artistry and craftsmanship.
This street also houses the oldest cheese shop, Paxton & Whitfield, which has been in business since 1797 and the Sladmore Gallery.
Most of the buildings here are owned by the Crown Estate.
Since the 18th century, the tailors on Savile Row have been keeping the men of London looking sharp and datable ;). On Savile Row, you can buy your traditional bespoke men’s tailored suits.
The Mall is the street leading from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. The yearly marathon finishes in The Mall.
The road is closed to traffic on weekends and public holidays. The Queen also travels on this road during special events like weddings.
The Mall is most beautiful during the golden hour, early in the morning, to avoid crowds of tourists during the day.
This is a road in the city of Westminster in London running past Downing Street. Its name was derived from the Palace of Whitehall.
The street is known for the antique monuments and memorial statues, including the primary war memorial The Cenotaph, the Royal Tank Regiment memorial, and the Gurkha memorial, among many others.
Famous London Streets – FAQs & Fun Facts
London is an age-old, sprawling city with streets that hold an incredible amount of history. Here are some interesting facts and tidbits about them.
There are over 60,000 streets or roads within the 6-mile radius – with all of their one-way and restricted turn intricacies.
Oxford Street is the main road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough that also holds city status.
I consider Oxford Street, Bond Street, and Regent Street the most famous streets for shopping in London. These are streets you can’t miss if you are into fashion, whether designer luxury brands or high street shops.
Visit the Best Streets in London
If you are in London and would like to see the city thoroughly, I recommend visiting some of these streets as they show the culture and history of the city.
As previously stated, most of these streets owe their fame to political and cultural events. Others, however, are just known for the buildings they house. Either way, these famous streets in London are worth visiting.
Among London’s endless network of streets and alleys, the ones in this list are the best known. But that’s not to say that they’re the only ones worth exploring. Many of London’s best streets are tucked away, off the beaten track.
So while you’re exploring the famous roads mentioned above, be sure to take your own path and explore beyond the most popular streets in London.
If a road or alleyway catches your eye, head down it and see what it has to offer.
Your visit to the city will be richer and more complete for it, and you never know what you might find!
To find out more about the beauty and adventure that London holds, you can browse the rest of my streets in London content, beginning here: